For Official Use English - Or. English
Trade and Agriculture Directorate Committee for Agriculture
OECD Scheme for the Certification of Forest Reproductive Material Moving in International Trade
DRAFT SELF-EVALUATION REPORT ON THE REQUEST OF SLOVENIA TO JOIN THE OECD FOREST SEED AND PLANT SCHEME
3-4 May 2021, ZOOM Meeting.
This self-evaluation report was submitted by Slovenia. An Evaluation Team consisting of Mr Mirko Liesebach (Germany and Mr Csaba Gaspar (OECD Secretariat) reviewed the report according to the Rules and Regulations of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme (Annex X.A)
The self-evaluation report is submitted for DISCUSSION and RECOMMENDATION to the Technical Working Group Meeting to be held on 3-4 May, 2021.
Taking into account the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau and the Secretariat propose to NDAs to follow the written procedure during the evaluation process of Slovenia.
The Technical Working Group is invited to recommend to the Annual Meeting the approval of the recommendations of the Self-Evaluation Report and the admission of Slovenia to the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme by the written procedure.
Slovenia applied for membership in the OECD Forest as it would enable the country to plan the transfer and use of FRM for supplementary planting from other South-East European Countries. The membership would also contribute to greater genetic diversity of future forests, their greater resistance to harmful changes in the environment and the existence of forests, despite unfavourable simulations of changing environmental conditions for the growth of economically important tree species.
The area of woodlands in Slovenia is over 1 million ha which is close to 60% of the total country area. This places Slovenia to the 3rd-4th most forested country in the European Union.
The detailed rules of certification of forest reproductive material are defined in the Forest Reproductive Material Act (ZGRM, 2002), its subordinate regulations, and the Slovenian Forest Act (ZOG, 1993). These national regulations are harmonised with and implement the European Directive (EC/105/1999) controlling the marketing of forest reproductive material within the EU and, thus, also in line with the Rules and Regulations of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme.
Slovenia nominated the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food as national designated authority for the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme. The OECD FRM certification system will be implemented via the Slovenian Public Forest Service by the Slovenian Forestry Institute, supported by the Slovenia Forest Service and the Inspectorate for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries.
Slovenia has a sufficient staff to implement properly the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme.
The evaluation team carefully reviewed the entire background documentation and concluded that Slovenia has a well-established FRM certification system. The country has developed all the necessary capacity and tools for implementing the OECD certification system of forest reproductive material.
Recommendation: Having carefully examined the information and data on the forest sector and the national FRM certification system, the evaluation team recommends the admission of Slovenia to the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme. The participation of Slovenia in the Forest Seed and Plant Scheme would further enrich the discussions at the annual meetings and technical working group meetings.
The Annual Meeting is invited to admit Slovenia to the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme by the written procedure.
DRAFT SELF- EVALUATION REPORT ON THE REQUEST OF THE UNITED
KINGDOM FOR ADMISSION TO THE OECD FOREST SEED AND PLANT SCHEME ... 5
1. INTRODUCTION ... 5
1.1. Slovenia and the OECD Codes and Schemes ... 5
1.2. Application of Slovenia to join the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme ... 5
2. OVERVIEW OF FORESTRY IN SLOVENIA ... 7
2.1. Introduction ... 7
Climate and geography ... 7
Slovenian Flora ... 8
Forests in Slovenia ... 8
The European dimension with special emphasis on EUFORGEN and EUFGIS ... 10
Development of a system for monitoring of forest genetic diversity ... 11
Measures for »genetic protection of forests« - SIFORGEN ... 12
Organisation of supply with seed and seedlings in Slovenia ... 14
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK ... 15
3.1. The ‘Slovenian Forestry School’ ... 15
History – ordnances & recommendations by Maria Teresia 1774 ... 15
Silviculture based on forest genetics ... 15
The ‘Slovenian forestry school’ ... 16
3.2. The legislative basis for FRM certification... 17
EU Legislative framework ... 17
Slovenian legislative framework ... 19
3.3. Rules on the determination of areas of provenance ... 22
4. INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY ... 25
4.1. Introduction ... 25
Brief overview of the procedures in the FRM certification in Slovenia ... 26
4.2. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food ... 27
4.3. Slovenian Forestry Institute ... 27
Staff ... 29
4.4. Slovenia Forest Service... 30
Approval of forest seed objects (basic material) ... 31
Production of FRM in situ ... 31
Staff ... 31
4.5. Inspectorate for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries ... 31
5. CERTIFICATION SCHEME FOR FOREST REPRODUCTIVE MATERIAL IN SLOVENIA ... 33
5.1.List of Species under the Scope of the FRM Act ... 33
5.2. Types of basic material and FRM categories ... 33
5.3. The Slovenian Forest Gene Bank and the National List of Forest Seed Objects (Basic Material)... 34
The Slovenian Forest Gene Bank ... 34
National Register of Forest Seed Objects (Basic Material) ... 35
5.4. Procedures and criteria for approval of forest seed objects ... 36
Seed trees or stands for the production of FRM of the "source identified" category ... 37
Selected seed stands – for production of FRM category ‘selected’ ... 38
Description and tending of selected seed stands, and directives for production of FRM .... 38
Detailed procedures related to the approval of forest seed objects (basic material) ... 39
5.5. PROCEDURES FOR PRODUCTION AND CERTIFICATION OF FRM ... 41
Brief overview of the certification process ... 41
Detailed control procedure of the production of forest reproductive material ... 43
Detailed procedures for the collection of FRM ... 43
5.6. SUPPLIER’S DOCUMENT (ZGRM, 2002) ... 44
5.7. MASTER CERTIFICATE (ZGRM, 2002) ... 45
5.8. PACKAGING AND LABELLING ... 46
Specific requirements for seed packaging and labelling ... 46
Specific requirements for planting material packaging and labelling: ... 47
6. RECOMMENDATION OF THE EVALUATION TEAM... 48
6.1. Background ... 48
6.2. Recommendation ... 48
7. Acknowledgements ... 49
8. REFERENCES ... 50
LIST OF ANNEXES: ... 55
Annex A: OFFICIAL APPLICATION LETTER ... 55
Annex B: Collection of seed in forest stands for production of FRM category ‘selected’ and in forest stands, groups of trees and seed trees for production of the FRM category ‘source identified’ in Slovenia in 1998/1999 and in 2018 ... 55
Annex C: Annex C. Seeds and seedlings used for lanting and sowing in Slovenia in 1998 (only for reforestation after regular felling) and in 2018 ... 55
Annex D: CERTIFICATES ... 55
Annex E: National FRM labels ... 55
Annex F:: LIST OF SPECIES TO WHICH THE FRM ACT APPLIES AS LISTED IN THE NATIONAL LIST (2010) ... 55
DRAFT SELF- EVALUATION REPORT ON THE REQUEST OF THE UNITED KINGDOM FOR ADMISSION TO THE
OECD FOREST SEED AND PLANT SCHEME
1. This Report discusses the readiness of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia) for admission to the OECD Scheme for the Certification of Forest Reproductive Material Moving in International Trade.
1.1. Slovenia and the OECD Codes and Schemes
2. Slovenia is a member of the OECD since 2010. However, the relation between Slovenia and the OECD Codes and Schemes dates back to 1994 when the country joined the OECD Seed Schemes. Today Slovenia is adherent to and actively participating in five from the eight Seed Schemes: The Grass and Legume Seed; the Crucifer Seed and Other Oil and Fibre Species Seed; Cereal Seed; Maize Seed and the Sorghum Seed Schemes. In addition, Slovenia applied for membership in the OECD Fruit and Vegetables Scheme in 2021.
1.2. Application of Slovenia to join the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme
3. Slovenia participated in the Meetings of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme since 2018 as an observer country. During this period, Slovenia organised the 2018 Technical Working Group Meeting which was a good opportunity for Slovenia to introduce the national forest sector and their certification system for forest reproductive material (FRM) via presentations at the meeting and during the technical field trip.
4. Slovenia applied to join the Scheme in February 2021 in an official letter sent by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food to the Secretary General of OECD dated 2nd February 2021 (Annex A). The inclusion of Slovenia in the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme would enable the country to plan the transfer and use of FRM for supplementary planting from other South-East European Countries. The membership would contribute to greater genetic diversity of future forests, their greater resistance to harmful changes in the environment and the existence of forests, despite unfavorable simulations of changing environmental conditions for the growth of economically important tree species.
5. In the official application letter, Slovenia indicated that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia would be responsible for the implementation of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme.
6. The OECD Secretariat followed up on this application, and requested a self- evaluation report on the national FRM certification system from Slovenia, according to the accession procedure for an OECD Member country (APPENDIX X.A of the Rules and
Regulations of the Forest Seed and Plant Scheme). Slovenia submitted this report to the Secretariat on 15 March 2021. This report was reviewed by an evaluation team consisted of Mr Mirko Liesebach from Germany and Mr Csaba Gaspar from the OECD Secretariat.
7. Taking into account the current safety measures and lack of physical meetings, the Bureau and the Secretariat propose to follow the written procedure during the evaluation process. According to this proposal, an official delegation of Slovenia is invited to participate in the virtual 2021 Technical Working Group Meeting of the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme to present this report and answer questions from delegations of participating countries.
8. The Technical Working Group is invited to recommend to the Annual Meeting the approval of the recommendations of the Self-Evaluation Report and the admission of Slovenia to the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme by the written procedure.
9. Subject to the approval of the Annual Meeting, the Self-Evaluation Report will then be submitted to the Committee for Agriculture for endorsement by the written procedure admitting Slovenia to the OECD Scheme for the Certification of Forest Reproductive Material moving in International Trade.
2. OVERVIEW OF FORESTRY IN SLOVENIA
10. Slovenia is characterised by its heterogeneity in topography, diversity in climate and ecological conditions, its biogene origin, resulting in high biodiversity, and large areas of well-preserved forests, conserving the natural biodiversity at different levels.
Climate and geography
11. The climate is from mild sub-mediterranean to continental and alpine.
12. The country reaches from the Adriatic Sea to the highest peak at 2864 m above sea level. The phytogeographic territories, which correspond approximately also to the provenance regions, include Alpine; Prepannonian; Dinaric and Sub Mediterranean regions with a mosaic of intermediate ones, determined as Predinaric and Prealpine.
13. The ground rock material is predominately calcareous limestone, dolomite, flisch and gneiss, with some metamorphic and magmatic areas (Vrščaj et al., 2017). Only one region is characterised by magmatic material; the Pohorje provenance region.
14. The average inclination of the territory is 40 % (Figure 1), and the same is the share of the areas with specific karst phenomena, as described by J.V. Valvasor in his The Duchy of Carniola (1689), defining them with the terms from Slovenian language from the Karst region in South-west Slovenia. Namely, when water reacts with limestone ground rock material it forms
• a number of characteristic structures (such as škraplje),
• valleys with soil piled in the centre (dolina, vrtača, koliševka),
• karst fields (polje) which are flooded as lakes a part of the year,
• a number of caves with different underground formations, while the aboveground water is scarce as it disappears into the ground forming streams inaccessible to plants and humans, and
• Underground habitats for some highly specialized animals.
15. The soils on limestone are strongly dependent on the vegetation, and if the forest is cut, the soil disappears along with it, and the ground rock material is exposed for centuries or millennia before the soils are reformed (Vrščaj et al., 2017).
Figure 1 Slovenian topography (http://www.hervardi.com/zemljevidi_slovenije.php ).
16. From the approximately 3300 plant species in Slovenia, around 350 are woody plants, and around 75 are forest tree species (Martinčič et al., 2007; Brus, 2004) of which 22 are endemic to Slovenia.
17. Including the animal and fungal component, Slovenia belongs to the European
‘biodiversity hot belt’ (Mršić, 1997). The only national park, the Triglav national park, has been established in 1924. At present 50 % or 41,616 ha within its territory are forests; while if Pinus mugo were also considered as forest, then 63 % or 52,965 ha of the national park are forests (Klopčič, Pisek, Poljanec, 2015). In addition to the national park, there is a number of other nature conservation areas of different categories. In total as much as 37.16 % of Slovenian territory is included into NATURA 2000 areas, from which about 29 % is in different nature conservation categories and 71 % is forests (ZGS, 2019).
Forests in Slovenia
18. Slovenia is the 3rd to 4th position regarding the share of forests among the European countries. Only 20 % are state forests, while over 400,000 private owners own 8 0%. The present forest area is close to 60 % of the total country area with 1,185,930 ha of forests and according to the forest management plans is shared as follows:
• 1,079,660 ha managed forest,
• 96,762 ha protective forests and
• 9,508 ha forest reserves.
19. In Slovenia, forests are the most important renewable natural resource beside water.
Most forests are located within the area of beech, fir-beech and beech-oak sites (70 %), with high production capacity (Perko, 2007). Forests are the key to biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and reserve of renewable raw materials. They also significantly contribute to air and ground water quality. Thus, their deterioration would lead to an increase in human and animal health issues and would have a negative economic impact.
20. The total growing stock is 357 Mm3, or 303 m3/ha. The average annual increment is 7.5 m3/ha, the possible yearly cut is 6,985,621 m3, and the actual cut in 2019 was 87 % of the possible cut (ZGS, 2019).
21. In the majority of forests (8 7%) the species composition is equal to or similar to the natural one (Figure 2). Beech associations dominate around 70 % of all forests.
However, the growing stock of beech is only around 32 % of the total, while Norway spruce is 31 %, Silver fir is 7.5 %, pines are 5.8%, larch and other conifers are 1.4 % for, oaks are 7 %, noble hardwood is 5 %, for other hardwoods are 8.2 %, and 1.7 % of soft broadleaves (ZGS, 2019).
Figure 2) Forests cover around 60 % of the Slovenian territory, and are well preserved (green: species composition equal to (dark green) or very similar to the natural one (light green), only in 13% of forest tree species composition is different form the natural one (yellow colours; Kraigher et al., 2019)
22. Forests in Slovenia provide 0.3 % GDP, with an increasing tendency, and provide more than 6000 full day work equivalent jobs. Forests and the forest based industry in Slovenia has reached its minimum in 2012 of providing for the whole sector (including forestry, woodworking and pulp and paper industry) merely 1 % GDP and 24,000 employees (MKGP, 2017), however, the sector has regained its growth in the last 5 years.
23. As the main renewable resource, the need for research and professional based support for future forests is growing, considering especially the large-scale climate change related disturbances and outbreaks of pests and diseases decimating a number of tree species, and largely affecting their distribution areas. A great responsibility for forestry and forest science is to provide support to management, planning and protection of forests and the conservation of the exceptional biodiversity found in Slovenian forests.
The European dimension with special emphasis on EUFORGEN and EUFGIS
24. EUFORGEN – European forest genetic resources programme (www.euforgen.org) – has been established in 1994 based on the resolutions of the Ministerial conferences for the protection of forests (MCPFE, now Forest Europe, FE) in Strasbourg (1990) and Helsinki (1993) (Kraigher et al., 2019). It aims at developing strategies for conservation of forest genetic resources, overviews policies and strategies contributing to it, provides access to research results to forestry professionals and policy makers and organizes the European information system on dynamic conservation units of forest trees (EUFGIS).
Currently it is in its 6th five-year phase, combines efforts of 27 countries. It contributes to the development of the indicator 4.6 of the pan‐European Criteria and Indicators for sustainable forest management on production and use of genetically diverse forest reproductive material on development of a decision support tool for monitoring and managing gene conservation units. It also provides the coordination for bridging information systems and approaches of Gene Banks across domains of animal, plant / crop and forest genetic resources.
25. Slovenia has been actively participating in EUFORGEN since 1995. It was a partner in the EUFGIS (Agri Gen Res) project, and is currently involved in the preparation of the GenRes Bridge project. Within the EUFGIS information system, 41 forest gene reserves (gene conservation units) for 21 forest tree species are from Slovenia, all also a part of the National list of the seed objects and the in situ part of the Slovenian Forest Gene Bank. Furthermore, all harmonization processes in development of the new Slovenian legislation on FRM have been largely enabled through participation at EUFORGEN events.
Among important outputs of the EUFORGEN programme was also the organization of the Steering Committee meeting in Novo Mesto in 2007 and the organization of the Conifers network meeting in Brdo by Kranj in 2010. and the initiation of the current LIFEGENMON project (LIFE13/ENV/SI/000148), a six-years (2014 - 2020) international LIFE+ project aiming at development of a system for forest genetic monitoring (www.lifegenmon.si ).
26. Furthermore, Slovenian scientists have been partners in a number of bilateral and international projects. Among the bilateral projects, the projects FRANGUSAVA with Croatia and Serbia have contributed to population genetic studies of ash species (Fraxinus excelsior and F. angustifolia) along the Sava River, and the feasibility for division of the area of Slovenia on different provenance regions for the major and selected minority species. Among COST actions, EUROSILVA E6 was the first, also deriving from the resolutions of the MCPFE process in Strasbourg, contributing to belowground physiological and ecophysiological studies for protection of forests. It was followed by actions:
• E38, FP803, FP903, FP1305 on belowground processes and climate change impacts on forest ecosystems
• E28 to genetic population studies
• E52 to development of the international beech provenance trial and analysis of its results
• FP1202 to identification of common problems and development of common strategies for marginal populations of forest trees
• E42 to enhance the growing of valuable broadleaf tree species.
27. The COST FP1405 NNEXT contributes to development of common overviews, risks and applications of non-native forest tree species in Europe, while the current COST action G BIKE contributes to genetic diversity and monitoring studies in all kingdoms of living organisms.
28. Within IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) the contributions of Slovenian scientists were maximal during the organization of the XVIII World IUFRO Congress in Ljubljana under the presidency of prof. Dušan Mlinšek, when also The Slovenian Forestry School was presented to the world forestry scientists and professionals. At present, the activities within the forest gene conservation scopes in Slovenia are linked to the IUFRO sessions on Norway spruce genetics, air pollution effects on forest trees and forest ecosystems, on the session on Forest genetic monitoring, as well as others. Furthermore, the Slovenian Forestry School and conservation of hidden biodiversity were presented as a plenary keynote presentation at the 125th Anniversary IUFRO Congress in 2017, and at the sessions on Biodiversity and policy interface, presenting predominantly the LIFEGENMON aims and output at this congress, as well as in several sessions at the IUFRO World Congress in 2019.
29. The excellent international networking and personal collaboration has also enabled several PhD Thesis to be finalized partly abroad (here the special recognition is on the Forestry Faculty Zvolen, Slovakia, and Ladislav Paule and Dušan Gömöry, and to the AWG (former ASP) in Teisendorf, Germany, with the past directors Albrecht Behm and Monika Konnert). It also enabled Slovenia to participate and coordinate several international and European projects. Among these, the 7FW project EUFORINNO, and the LIFE environment fund project LIFEGENMON were of special importance.
30. Furthermore, participation within the EUFORGEN programme has enabled personal exchange and collaboration of experts on FRM legislation who have contributed to the preparation and harmonization of the FRM Act and subordinate legislation between the years 1996 to 2004; among these (according to the year of first contact) Hans Muhs (D), Alan Fletcher (UK), Ilse Strohschneider (A), Alphonse Nanson (B) and others.
Development of a system for monitoring of forest genetic diversity
31. Conservation and management of Forest Genetic Resources (FGR) is an essential part of sustainable forestry, however not an easy task. To recognize the state of and changes in the composition of the genetic variation and track the undisturbed transfer of genetic information to subsequent generations, forest genetic monitoring is needed. Genetic monitoring can track changes of FGR adaptive and neutral genetic variation through time caused by climate change, forest management (in particularly FRM production and use), and conservation measures through well defined indicators and their verifiers (Namkoong et al., 1996; Aravanopolous et al., 2015; Fussi et al., 2016, Kraigher et al., 2019).
32. Forest genetic monitoring is an essential prerequisite for maintenance and control of sustainable forest management aiming to conserve genetic and consequently biological diversity at species, ecosystem and landscape levels, especially in marginal and peripheral populations (Fady et al., 2016). The need for monitoring genetic diversity has been recognized by the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity, which in Article 7 calls for action to “monitor through sampling and other techniques the components of biological diversity” (CBD, 1992). Further, genetic monitoring has been recognized to be an integral part of managing gene conservation units in forests (Koskela et al., 2013).
33. Genetic monitoring was first proposed by experts from FAO (Namkoong et al., 1996), and later on simplified for practical use by the German programme for conservation of forest genetic resources (Konnert et al., 2011) and by the EUFORGEN working group on forest genetic monitoring (Aravanopolous et al., 2015). The German concept of forest genetic monitoring was put into practice and the baseline data for selected indicators collected (Konnert et al., 2011). Recognizing the importance of forest genetic monitoring, Slovenia is together with Germany (Bavaria) and Greece under the framework of the LIFEGENMON project, and within the SIFORGEN programme, developing and implementing the first internationally coordinated system for forest genetic monitoring for two ecologically and economically important species in the region, Abies alba (silver fir) and Fagus sylvatica (European beech). Two genetic monitoring plots have been established in 2015 where 250 adult trees and 200 saplings have been marked, measured and sampled for genetic analysis, in addition to yearly phenology and seed set observations.
Additionally, seed from 20 adult trees has been sampled to undergo seed quality (germination, vitality) and genetic analysis.
34. In addition to plot selection (representativeness for the area / ecogeographic region / genetic lineage) and establishment, the development of the forest genetic monitoring system entails:
• Transfer of the state-of-the art scientific knowledge into an operational form expressed in indicators and their verifiers,
• Checking of the feasibility of collecting such verifiers in the field and the laboratory,
• Careful cost-benefit analysis of the information value of each verifier with regards to the expenses for its estimation,
• Definition of measurement intervals and definition of thresholds for management and conservation of FGR, and
• Development of a general support among stakeholders, policy makers and the public for its implementation, rendering the policy interface, and communication with foresters from practice, NGOs, and others among important goals for long- term sustainability of the system under development.
Measures for »genetic protection of forests« - SIFORGEN
35. Based on the tradition of forest gene conservation in Slovenia starting with Maks Wraber and Miran Brinar in 1950 - 1960 (see chapter 3.1.2) the Slovenian forest genetic resources programme (SIFORGEN) was established alongside with our participation within the EUFORGEN programme. Within different phases of EUFORGEN, Slovenia contributed country reports on the state of forest genetic resources within all EUFORGEN networks and to the working group on forest genetic monitoring. Slovenia is currently actively involved within two working groups on the decision support tool for gene conservation units and on production and use of genetically diverse FRM.
36. The most visible past activity of SIFORGEN was publication of the translations of 21 issues of Technical guidelines for conservation of forest genetic resources with Slovenian additions, some of which combine more species than the originals (available at http://www.euforgen.org/member-countries/slovenia/). At present the SIFORGEN’s overview, strategy and action plan are being revised and prepared for a country publication.
It takes into account the discussion line with the Slovenia Forest Service, on problems and
measures per tree species, the current situation in forest seed husbandry and nurseries, and the needs for further development of the Slovenian forestry school, development of a system for forest genetic monitoring, and for better supporting forest genetic diversity in development of silvicultural practices. SIFORGEN is under continuous development, concentrating especially on measures, which would enhance genetic diversity of all components in the forest ecosystem, and help maintain the adaptability potential of forest trees to the future environments. It considers the anticipated fast climate change and other stressful events, which are diminishing the chances of forests to remain in their current distribution area and structure, as we know today (e.g. Schueler et al., 2014).
37. The “Measures for genetic protection of forests” (Kraigher et al., 2019) comprise and consider:
• Every silvicultural / forest management measure to be considered with respect to its impact on genetic diversity of the stand / population(s)
• Support of natural regeneration,
• Assist regeneration by co-planting and co-sawing of a high number of tree species based on site-matching (enrichment planting),
• Use adequate forest reproductive material (FRM) of high genetic diversity, through:
o Defining the minimum number of seed trees for FRM production, o Collection of FRM in full mast years,
o Controlled and prescribed mixing of seed units, o Use advanced seed and seedling production systems, o Test provenances for transfer and mixing of FRM.
38. Among forestry practices that have shown to help maintain processes in genetic diversity among the adult stand and young regeneration centers was shown to be especially appropriate the irregular shelter wood system (Westergren et al., 2015).
39. However, since all anticipated measures for genetic protection of forests can only be accepted if forestry practice, decision makers and the public recognize the role of forest genetic diversity and its monitoring, communication is of an utmost importance for the future of our forests. The communication strategy ‘for future forests’ demands to:
• Communicate to general and target audience the needs for conservation of FGR, FGM and measures for genetic protection of forests through a well-developed narrative
• Develop the positive attitude towards forests and forestry through the whole national education system
• Forestry should get to the hearts of people by helping people in need
• Formalize the „science on communicating science“ in forestry
• Establish a national and international science – policy interface.
Organisation of supply with seed and seedlings in Slovenia
40. Since 1991 the regeneration with planting and seeding in Slovenian forests has diminished from production of around 20 million seedlings per year to less than 2 million seedlings per year. In parallel the number of forest nurseries has declined, and the largest seed producer has ceased to exist in 2014. However, the large scale disturbances, such as ice-sleet in 2014, bark-beetle gradations from 2016 onwards, and windbreaks from 2017 onwards, have impacted around 60 % of forests and 40 % of the forest growing stocks.
Therefore, the seed husbandry and forest nurseries have started to recuperate in the past few years.
41. It is not possible to manage forest development sustainably with planting and sowing as an activity complementary to natural reforestation without establishing a comprehensive system that ensures a permanent supply with seed and seedlings. Seedlings are usually grown on a multi-year basis. For this reason, a medium-term programme (for 5–10 years) for the needs for seedlings and collection of seed is required as a basis for planned seedlings production and, if necessary, also for sowing in open fields. The medium-term programme needs to be supplemented on an annual basis; both are prepared within the Public forest service by the Slovenia Forest Service with expert support by the Slovenian Forestry Institute. Based on forest management plans, annual reforestation programmes and medium-term programme for the needs for seed, annual programmes and plans for the collection of seed and programmes for the growing of seedlings by tree species, quantities and provenances are created. In order for the supply of tree nurseries with seed to be undisrupted, previous stocks need to be available for years when there is no seed crop. This role is performed by the Seed storage, kept by the Slovenia Forest Service. Due to the mentioned problems with the production of seed in ‘selected’ seed stands, we also approve forest stands or groups of trees for FRM category ‘source identified’. As an example of the annual production of FRM in Slovenia, we provide the data on the issued master certificates (Annex D) for the FRM extracted in Slovenia for 1998 and 2018, combined with the data from the Slovenia Forest Service report (ZGS, 2019).
42. Currently 10 forest seed and nurseries operators (by 6 owners) are registered at the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and food (MAFF which are all privately owned. Two of them provide seedlings for most forests, and are located in the North (Omorika) and SW (Matenja vas) of Slovenia. Other two are specialized in seed production and marketing (by the same owner), are located in the central part, and the other 6, registered as 2 per owner) are all located in the NE part of Slovenia, specialized in production of seed and planting material for flood-plain forests, predominantly for the Prepannonian provenance region.
43. Slovenian nurseries produce only bare-root seedlings; when containerized seedlings are required, the production is done predominantly with the seed material originating from Slovenia, but produced in a neighboring nursery in Austrian Styria (LEICO).
44. Vast majority of FRM is produced in Slovenian forests and nurseries, while some is produced in Austria and Croatia. The use of the FRM from non-Slovenian origin is limited, defined within the Rules on determination of regions of provenances (PO, 2002), and each lot can only be used upon a written expert opinion by the Slovenian forestry institute.
3. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
45. Slovenia is a Member of the European Union since 2004. Thus, the Slovenian legislation is harmonised with the EU and all European Commission (EC) legislation regarding FRM production and certification has been adopted. However, forestry and forest reproductive material certification principles are much older, as presented in the historical perspective below.
3.1. The ‘Slovenian Forestry School’
History – ordnances & recommendations by Maria Teresia 1774
46. Historically the first forest ordnances were linked to mining ordnances (Mihelič, 2008), aiming at sustainable wood production for mining purposes. However, these were early on followed by forest ordnances, as overviewed by Boštjan Anko (cit. by Zupančič M., 2013), who organized reprinting of facsimile of a number of forest ordnances:
• The forest ordnance from Ortenburg 1406, 1985;
• The Forest Ordnance of Maria Teresia for Carniola 1771, 1985;
• The Bamberg forest ordnances for the Kanal valley and Bleiberg 1584, 1987;
• The Temporary forest ordnance for Stiria 1539, 1987;
• The forest ordnance for Illyrian provinces, 1810, 1989;
• The forest ordnance for Istria, Furlania and Karst, 1541, 1989;
• The forest ordnance for Lower Austria, 1813, 1989; and the five-language manuscript by Josef Ressl from 1842 Planning of reforestation of community lands in Istria (1993).
47. These ordnances, followed by forest management plans, recommended that no clearcutting is done in forests on sensitive karst terrains, in which any plant cover removal would lead to soil erosion, resulting in exposure of bare ground limestone rock material.
48. The sustainable forest management persisted through centuries, yet the German forestry school had an important influence by actively favoring Norway spruce at the cost of European beech distribution in actual vegetation cover in Slovenian forests. In addition, the land-use change into agricultural lands led the area of forests to reach only about 38%
of the total area of Slovenia by mid-20th century.
Silviculture based on forest genetics
49. After the Second World War and a brief episode of large exploitation of forests (of about five years), clearcutting was again forbidden by the law (from 1949 onwards), while abandoned agricultural lands underwent natural reforestation. At establishment of the Slovenian Forestry Institute (1947) and the Forestry Department (1948) of the Biotechnical Faculty (1947) in Ljubljana, the first five scientists have also established the basis for future development of forests and forestry in Slovenia (Kraigher and Žitnik, 1999). The phytocoenologist dr. Maks Wraber divided Slovenia into phytogeographic regions, and founded silvicultural measures on genetic basis (1950). This scientific background was
incorporated into forest gene conservation practice by dr. Miran Brinar (1961), the founder of the first national Register of forest seed objects, and certification of forest reproductive material (FRM) (Kraigher and Žitnik, 1996; Westergren et al., 2006; Kraigher et al., 2019).
50. Therefore, the practice and legislation in Slovenia preceded the two EC directives of forest seeds and seedlings (EC/404/66 and EC/161/71) in which the origin of FRM was stipulated to be of primary importance for a successful reforestation. The principles by M.
Wraber and M. Brinar were that biology is the theoretical and practical basis for contemporary forestry, in which the success is based on the following (Wraber, 1951):
• Enlargement of forest areas,
• Improvement of yield regarding quantity and quality,
• Improvement of wood quality, and
• Use of site-adapted high value species’ FRM being the first priority in professional silviculture and forest management.
51. Brinar (1961) defined principles and methods for approval of seed stands for practical use, and delineated seven Slovenian forest seed regions (Figure 3), based on ecological, phytocenologial, technological, and silvicultural criteria, and defined criteria for approval of seed stands, based on source (autochthonity), homogeneity, size, site, adaptation, age, mixture, silvicultural state, density, isolation, and technical characteristics of wood. He also established the Register of seed stands (the first revision made available in 1971). This was later revised by Pavle (1987 and 1997), before the new Forest reproductive material act (ZGRM, 2002) formed the basis for the present National list of forest seed objects, published yearly in the Official gazette (the last revision in January 2021; Seznam CSO, 2021)), and in the EU database FOREMATIS.
Figure 3 The map of Slovenian Seed regions (Semenski objekti, 1971)
The ‘Slovenian forestry school’
52. The ’Free silvicultural technique’ as defined by Dušan Mlinšek (1968) is based on learning from processes in natural forests, aiming at sustainable management and active
support of all functions and roles of forests. The ‘Slovenian Forestry School’ is based on the following principles (as reported in IPGRI/FAO and EUFORGEN country reports by Kraigher et al., 1996 and Smolej et al., 1998):
• “small-scale flexible forest management, adapted easily to site characteristics and natural development of forests;
• active protection of natural populations of forest trees;
• protection and conservation of biological diversity in forests;
• support of the bio-ecological and economic stability of forests by improving the growing stock;
• tending of all developmental stages and all forest forms for supporting of vital and high-quality forest trees, which could fulfil optimally all functions of forests;
• natural regeneration is supported in all forests;
• if seedlings are used, they should derive from adequate seed sources / provenances, and only adequate species can be used.”
53. These principles form the basis of the current Forestry Act (1993) and the resolutions in the National Forest Programme (NGP, 2007).
3.2. The legislative basis for FRM certification EU Legislative framework
54. Slovenia is part of the European Union and therefore the Slovenian legislation on forest reproductive material is harmonized with the EC Directive on marketing of FRM (EC/105/1999).
55. Regarding the list of species from the Annex 1 of the Directive on marketing of FRM (EC/105/1999), 10 spp. were excluded from the formal list with the Commission Decision of 6 December 2005 releasing Denmark and Slovenia from certain obligations for marketing of forest reproductive material under Council Directive EC/105/1999 (2005/871/EC). On the other hand, the total list of species for which the Slovenian FRM Act is valid includes several additional tree species (see 5.1 and Annex F).
56. Regarding reporting the Commission Recommendation of 14 February 2012 on guidelines for the presentation of the information for the identification of lots of forest reproductive material and the information to be provided on the supplier’s label or document (EC/90/2012) is applied.
57. The Commission Regulation EC/1597/2002 of 6 September 2002 is laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Directive EC/105/1999. It defines the format of national lists of the basic material of forest reproductive material and its standardised form for the national lists of basic material approved by Member States has been applied for reporting to the EC, and its database (amended regularly according to the instructions from DG SANTE) uploaded into the FOREMATIS database.
58. The Commission Regulation (EC) No 1598/2002 of 6 September 2002 lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Directive EC/105/1999 as regards the provision of mutual administrative assistance by official bodies is applied regarding the required information for certification forms provided by member states.
59. The Commission Regulation EC/1602/2002 of 9 September 2002 lays down detailed rules for the application of Council Directive EC/105/1999 as regards the authorisation of a Member State to prohibit the marketing of specified forest reproductive material to the end-user. It is based on
• the list of information to be provided by a Member State in support of an application under Article 17(2) of Council Directive EC/105/1999 (as provided in the annex to this regulation) and
• the delimitation of regions of provenances and recommendations for use of FRM determined within the national Rules on the determination of areas of provenance (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, Nos. 72/03, 58/12 and 69/17).
60. Relevant national plant health and phytosanitary legislation regarding FRM has also been adopted to EU requirements. Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 on protective measures against plant pests (“Plant Health Law”) entered into force on 14 December 2019 and together with several delegated and implementing acts by the Commission is directly implemented in EU Member States. Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 goes hand-in-hand with Regulation (EU) 652/2014, which lays down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare. It relates to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.
61. Lists of pests, commodities and plant health requirements are laid down in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072:
• Regulated plants: all plants (including living parts of plants) need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to enter into the EU, unless they are listed in Annex XI, Part C, of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 as exempted from this general requirement.
• High-risk plants: The Plant Health Law increases the prevention against the introduction of new pests via imports from third countries. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 establishes the list of high-risk plants the introduction of which into the EU territory is provisionally prohibited until a full risk assessment has been carried out.
• Priority pests: the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/1702 lists 20 quarantine pests as priority pests, whose economic, environmental and social impact on EU territory is the most severe. EU Member States will have to prepare information campaigns to the public in case they are present in their territory, perform annual surveys, and prepare contingency plans, simulation exercises and action plans for eradication.
• Plant passports: accompany the movement and trade within the EU of certain plants, plant products and other objects, which are potential carriers of quarantine pests (listed in Annex VIII and IX of Regulation (EU) 2019/2072). Plant passport confirms compliance with the requirements set in EU legislation. Inspections and controls are carried out at the place of production or processing. The competent authorities must register producers and distributors. Plant passport confirms that the material is free of quarantine pests (Annex II to Regulation 2019/2072 / EU and European Commission emergency regulations) and meets the specific requirements laid down therein (Annex VIII to Regulation 2019/2072 / EU and European
Commission emergency regulations) and meets the prescribed tolerances for controlled non-quarantine pests (Annex IV of Regulation 2019/2072 / EU and the prescribed measures have been taken during production (Annex V of Regulation 2019/2072 / EU)
Slovenian legislative framework
62. The principles for conservation of forest genetic resources as the basic principle, referred to also in the Forest Reproductive Material Act (ZGRM, 2002) in Slovenian legislation, are formalized within the Nature conservation act (ZON, 1999), the Forest Act (ZOG, 1993), the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy of Slovenia (BCSS, 2002), and the Resolution on the National Forest Programme (NGP, 2007). The detailed rules are defined in the Forest Reproductive Material Act (ZGRM, 2002) and its subordinate regulations (available at http://www.mkgp.gov.si/zakonodaja_in_dokumenti/veljavni_predpisi/ ).
63. This Act regulates the protection, cultivation, exploitation and use of forests and the role of forests as natural resources with the aim of ensuring sustainable and multifunctional management in accordance with the principles of environmental protection and natural values, sustainable and optimal functioning of forests as ecosystems and exercising their functions. It defines the use of FRM.
Forest Reproductive Material Act
64. This Act is harmonised with the EU Directive on Marketing of FRM (EC/105/1999), while it is also based on conservation of forest genetic resources (# 2). It was first prepared in 2002. Subsequent amendments were done in 2002 (correction of a minor mistake), 2004 (upon joining the EU some responsibilities from the Ministry were relayed to the EC) and in 2011. It lays down
• the conditions for the production, marketing and use of forest reproductive material;
• obligations of persons involved in the production,
• rules for marketing and importation of reproductive material;
• professional tasks and procedures related to the certification of origin, quality and identity of reproductive material;
• rules for obtaining, using and exchanging data and information;
• establish seed reserves (storage) and the forest gene bank;
• Bodies implementing this law, and inspections.
65. This Act is based on the principles of conservation of forest genetic resources and is valid in:
• reforestation by planting and sowing,
• design and maintenance of permanent protective or anti-erosion belts of forest trees,
• design and maintenance of tree plantations.
66. This Act also transposes the Directive EC/123/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 36).
Order on the List of tree Species and Artificial Hybrids
67. This order implements the list of tree species and artificial hybrids from the Annex 1 of the Directive on marketing of FRM (EC/105/1999), while excludes 10 non- autochthonous (exotic) tree species according to the European Commission Decision no.
2005/871, and adds several additional, nationally important tree species (see 5.1 and Annex F).
Rules on the conditions for entry in the register of suppliers and other obligations of suppliers and requirements for the marketing of forest reproductive material68. This legislation specifies:
• the conditions regarding the professional qualification of the person who will be responsible for fulfilling the obligations of the supplier of forest reproductive material and more detailed requirements regarding land, facilities, machinery or equipment;
• the form and documents that must be attached to the application for entry in the register of suppliers;
• the form and content of the production plan;
• the criteria for the appropriate quality of forest reproductive material;
• the method of marking and packaging of the reproductive material being marketed;
• more detailed content and form of the supplier's document;
• quantities of seed considered small;
• the method of keeping records on the production, extraction, storage, stocks, sale and purchase of reproductive material;
• the method of reporting data on the marketing of reproductive material.
Rules on the conditions for the approval of forest seed objects in the categories
"known origin" and "selected", and on the list of forest seed establishments69. This legislation specifies:
• the criteria for approval and the more detailed procedure for the approval of forest seed establishments in the categories " source identified” (in official translation
‘known origin’ from Slovenian into English language) and "selected",
• the application form for initiating the approval procedure,
• the form and content of the information and assessment sheets for the stand or group of seed trees,
• more detailed content, form, method of production and publication of the National list of forest seed objects (basic material); the last National list of forest seed objects published in January 2021 (Seznam GSO, 2021)
70. Rules on the conditions and procedure for the approval of forest seed objects intended for the production of forest reproductive material in the categories "qualified" and
"tested" This legislation specifies:
• the content and procedure for approving forest seed orchard management plans and their amendments,
• the conditions to be met by the predetermined trees used for the design of forest seed orchard in the "qualified" category, and
• the method of performing comparative and genetic tests to prove the above-average characteristics of forest seed objects in the "tested" category.
Rules on certificates and master certificates for forest reproductive material)71. This Regulation, in accordance with Council Directive 1999/105 / EC on the marketing of forest reproductive material provides:
• the content and form of the proof of origin (Field confirmation) of forest reproductive material;
• more detailed content and form of the Master certificates on the identity of forest reproductive material obtained from different types of forest seed objects;
• the procedure for obtaining the Master certificate;
• size and method of taking samples of forest reproductive material obtained in a forest seed object;
• the method of keeping records per the forest seed object of the obtained seed material, parts of plants or pulleys.
Rules on determining data for forest tree seeds
72. This Regulation lays down the methods and conditions for determining the purity, germination, weight and number of germinating or vital seeds in a lot of forest tree seed to be marketed, which must be contained in the supplier's document and should include the time-validity of this information.
Rules on the determination of areas of provenance
73. This Regulation, in accordance with Council Directive 1999/105 / EC of 22 December 1999 on the marketing of forest reproductive material (OJ L 11, 15.1.2000, p.
17), determines the areas of provenance to be taken into account in production and marketing of forest reproductive material and recommendations for its use.
Rules on the uniform application form for consignments of plants, plant products and controlled objects, forest reproductive material or seed material of
agricultural plants for inspection at import
74. This Regulation stipulates a uniform application form for the inspection of consignments of plants, plant products and controlled objects, forest reproductive material
or agricultural plant seed material, which must be inspected before import. The uniform application form is available at the Phytosanitary Administration of the Republic of Slovenia and on the website of the Administration (www.furs.si).
Slovenian legislative framework on plant health (pests and diseases)
Decree on implementation of EU regulations on protection measures against pests of plants for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2016/2031 and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/827 and Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/829:
• The competent authorities, measures, procedures, and sanctions in Slovenia
• The details about procedures relating to quarantine stations and isolation facilities, by issuing permits for research purposes, by registering business operators, by issuing plant passports, permits for processing, marking and repairing wooden packaging material, by issuing phytosanitary certificates for export and re-export , by issuing pre-export certificates and sanctions in Slovenia
Decree implementing the Regulation (EU) on official controls and other official activities concerning food, feed, animal health and welfare, and plant health and plant protection products
• The competent authorities, the obligations relating to the performance of official controls and other official activities, border inspection posts and other control points, and fees for official controls and other official activities for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/625
Plant Protection Act
• Economically important harmful organisms in forestry are regulated by EU Directive 99/105/EC, the Forest Reproductive Material Act and the Plant Health Act.
3.3. Rules on the determination of areas of provenance
75. In accordance with Directive EC/105/1999, the territory of Slovenia has been divided into regions of provenance (as proposed by Kutnar et al. 2002). These are created in the sense of continuing in the direction outlined by Wraber in 1950 and upgraded by M.
Pavle in 1987. The upgrade is based on a new phytogeographic division of Slovenia, as proposed by Mitja Zupančič and Vinko Žagar (1995). For individual species, they are also created based on population and genetic research. A similar division based on ecologically related regions has been accepted in some other European countries.
76. The basis for demarcation are broader ecological regions that are on the ground delineated in more detail with boundaries between regional units – forest management areas and administrative boundaries – cadastral municipalities, which enables precise control over the production and recommended use of forest reproductive material (FRM) in individual forest management areas and forest management units.
77. The current Rules on the determination of areas of provenance (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, Nos. 72/03 , 58/12 and 69/17) (Pravilnik PO, 2003) combines the ecological regions, soil types, and main topographical and administrative borders, including the 14 Slovenian forest regions, while each region is divided into 4 elevation
zones (Figure 4). For majority tree species (Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur) Slovenia is divided into 7 provenance regions. For all other (“minority”) species it would not be feasible to produce and use FRM in the same way, therefore Slovenia as a whole represents a single provenance region for these species, but still divided into the four elevation zones. The Regulation includes recommendations for use of FRM, while the decisive role is on the forest rangers formalizing the use in their Decree on detailed silvicultural plan.
Figure 4. Regions of provenances based on ecological regions & subregions: 1. Alpine, 2. Pohorje, 3.
Prepannonian, 4. Prealpine, 5. Predinaric, 6. Dinaric, 7. Submediterranean
78. Article 7 of the Rules determining regions of provenance (Pravilnik PO, 2003) includes the following guidelines for use:
"(1) In order to steer the use of FRM, the following suitability scale for the use of FRM is applied:
• 1. most suitable: use of FRM in a certain sub-region of provenance and altitudinal zone produced from a seed source in the same sub-region and altitudinal zone,
• 2. very suitable: use of FRM in a certain region of provenance and altitudinal zone produced from a seed source in the same region of provenance and altitudinal zone,
• 3. suitable: use of FRM in a certain region of provenance and altitudinal zone produced from a seed source in a neighboring region of provenance and the same altitudinal zone,
• > 300 m a.s.l.
• 301-700 m a.s.l.
• 701-1000 m a.s.l.
• < 1000 m a.s.l.
• 4. less suitable: use of FRM in a certain region of provenance and altitudinal zone produced from a seed source in the remaining regions of provenance and the same altitudinal zone,
• 5. exceptionally suitable: use of FRM in a certain region of provenance and altitudinal zone produced from a seed source in the remaining regions of provenance and a neighboring altitudinal zone,
(2) If the most suitable or very suitable FRM is not available in a seed source of a certain region of provenance and altitudinal zone and if it is not available even in a seed storage, FRM for suitable or less suitable use may also be stored or used, although only for the needs of one year at the most.
(3) If not even FRM for less suitable use is available for more than 10 years, FRM for exceptionally suitable use may also be stored or used, although only for the needs of one year at the most.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions from the preceding paragraphs, in order to preserve the forest genetic resources in the Šavrinija sub-region of provenance, it is permitted to use only FRM from that sub-region."
79. This article was subsequently amended several times. After the latest harmonisation it is permitted to also use FRM from certain regions of provenance from the neighbouring countries (Austria, Croatia and Hungary) in certain areas and altitudinal zones in Slovenia., in case of lack of adequate FRM originating from within the Slovenian forests, for sanitary reasons after large-scale disturbance, and after obtaining a positive expert opinion of the Slovenian Forestry Institute,
4. INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
80. According to the FRM Act (ZGRM, 2002) the tasks and relations of institutions ensuring the FRM certification scheme in Slovenia are as follows (Figure 5):
• Supervision over the production of reproductive material in stands and groups of trees is carried out by the Slovenia Forest Service (SFS).
• Supervision over the production of reproductive material in seed orchards, parents of families, clones and clonal mixtures is carried out by the Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI).
• Supervision of suppliers in the process of production and marketing of reproductive material, except when the supplier obtains reproductive material in the seed object, and the use of reproductive material by the end users, is carried out by forestry inspectors (Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries, IAFHF).
• Supervision of the import of reproductive material is carried out by phytosanitary inspectors (PhSI).
81. All bodies exercising control over the production, marketing, import or use of reproductive material shall cooperate with each other, exchange data and information and report on their work to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF).
Figure 5 Institutions and overview of their roles & authorizations in certification of FRM 1.The provision of conditions for the implementation and performance of tasks under public authority is financed from the budget of the Republic of Slovenia.
82. The Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI) and the Slovenia Forest Service (SFS), as holders of public authority in accordance with the Forest Reproductive Material Act are responsible to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food for the performance of tasks for which they have been authorized.
83. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is the second level authority (in case of appeals) in administrative matters decided by SFI and SFS in accordance with the Forest Reproductive Material Act,.
Brief overview of the procedures in the FRM certification in Slovenia 84. The Slovenia Forest Service (SFS) surveys the production of FRM in all in situ seed objects (in EC Directive these are named ‘basic material’), and the Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI) surveys the production of FRM in the seed orchards. Upon finalisation of production, a ‘Field confirmation’ is issued, stating the daily and total weight of the produced seed / cones / fruits, which accompanies the seed lot to the producer’s extraction infrastructure; simultaneously a sample from each tree used for production and a copy of the Field confirmation is sent to the SFI; the samples, according to the Rules on certificates.
(Pravilnik o spričevalih, 2002), as modified in 2012, can be:
• three live buds,
• live branch,
• three live cambium drills,
• 1 cone in the case of species of the genus Abies or Picea,
• 3 cones in the case of Pseudotsuga menziesii or species of the genera Cedrus, Larix, Pinus,
• 5 conelets in the case of species of the genus Alnus,
• 10 chestnuts, walnuts or acorns in the case of Castanea sativa, Juglans regia or species of the genus Quercus,
• 20 acorns in the case of Fagus silvatica,
• 20 cleaned seeds in the case of Taxus baccata or species of the genera Celtis, Ilex, Laurus, Malus, Mespilus, Olea, Pyrus, Prunus or Sorbus, or
• 20 fruits or seeds in the case of species of the genera Acer, Betula, Carpinus, Cercis, Ficus, Fraxinus, Laburnum, Ostrya, Phillyrea, Pistacia, Populus, Robinia, Salix, Tilia or Ulmus.
85. Upon receiving the samples from the field and the Field confirmation, the SFI checks the I.D. of the approved seed object, the data on the Field confirmation, checks whether the ‘Directives for production of FRM’ from the Decree on approval of the seed object have been considered. Then SFI extracts the DNA from each mother tree and stores it in the DNA library. After seed extraction is finalized, the producer sends a sample from composite seed lot to the SFI together with the extraction protocol stating the initial and final seed weight; if all is correct the SFI issues the Master certificate of origin within 7 days upon receive of the Extraction protocol;
86. In case of an urgency (immediate transport of the seed lot outside the country borders) the Institute can issue the Master certificate on the basis of the Field confirmation directly (i.e. for cones instead of for extracted seeds);
87. In case of doubt on the authenticity of the produced seed lot the DNA samples (from the DNA library) are used for molecular identification and comparison with the Molecular database of the seed objects;
88. The SFI sends a yearly report on issued Master certificates to the Ministry, Inspectorate and the SFS, while the producers send a yearly report on marketing of FRM to the Ministry;
89. The Ministry is the second level authority for control of all other organizations.
90. In forest nurseries, the Inspectorate controls the production, which is based on the annual and mid-term (5 years) planning of needs for seedling production, prepared by the SFS. For health inspection the SFI surveys the nurseries twice a year and produces a Health control report for the nursery and the Inspectorate.
4.2. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
91. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the RS (MAFF) is the designated authority for the international communication on the OECD Forest Scheme. Within the FRM certification system the Forest Reproductive Material Act defines its tasks as follows:
a) Keeps the register of the suppliers of FRM and evidences on marketing of FRM, b) issues import licenses for reproductive material,
c) exercises professional supervision over public service providers and holders of public authority (i.e. the Slovenian Forestry Institute, Slovenia Forest Service and the Inspectorate for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries,
d) prepares reports, analyses, information and other materials for bodies and international organizations to which the Republic of Slovenia reports, in accordance with regulations and international treaties,
e) participates in the preparation of international agreements concluded by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of FRM and takes care of their implementation,
f) Establishes and maintains an information system in the field of production and marketing of FRM.
92. FRM is dealt within the Directorate for Forestry and Hunting, Sector for Forestry.
This sector includes 11 collaborators, among which one is in charge of FRM related issues.
The task of reporting the National list of Approved Forest Seed Objects (basic material) to FOREMATIS is therefore delegated to the Slovenian Forestry Institute.
4.3. Slovenian Forestry Institute
93. The Slovenian Forestry Institute (www.gozdis.si) is a public research institute of national importance, in which around 100 employees conduct basic and applied research on forests and forest landscapes, forest ecosystems, wildlife ecology, hunting, forest management, and other uses of the resources and services forests provide. The scientific knowledge from these fields helps further the research on forest biodiversity and its management in relation to climate change.
94. The Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI) performs the following tasks as a public authority: